WBEZ | Rahm Emanuel http://www.wbez.org/tags/rahm-emanuel Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en CPS Board president says Chicago schools under investigation http://www.wbez.org/news/cps-board-president-says-chicago-schools-under-investigation-111884 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/BoardOfEd1_0_0.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Officials with the nation&#39;s third-largest school district say federal authorities are &quot;investigating a matter&quot; at Chicago Public Schools.</p><p>In a statement released Wednesday, Chicago Board of Education president David Vitale says federal authorities requested interviews with several employees. He says the board was made aware of the investigation on Tuesday and is cooperating fully.</p><p>He did not offer details on the investigation. A spokesman for Chicago Public Schools didn&#39;t return a request for comment Wednesday.</p><p>Mayor Rahm Emanuel told reporters Wednesday that he didn&#39;t have further details. He says there isn&#39;t information yet on who&#39;s the target of the probe.</p></p> Wed, 15 Apr 2015 17:36:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/cps-board-president-says-chicago-schools-under-investigation-111884 Black vote proves key in Chicago mayoral race http://www.wbez.org/news/politics/black-vote-proves-key-chicago-mayoral-race-111844 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/Chart.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>Without the black vote, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel wouldn&#39;t have won reelection.</p><p>Four years ago, Emanuel won most of the votes in black wards. On Tuesday, he repeated that performance in a runoff by receiving on average 57 percent of the vote in those South and West side wards.</p><p>To be sure, Emanuel also fared well with white voters, especially in affluent wards. Yet both Emanuel and challenger Cook County Commissioner Jesus &ldquo;Chuy&rdquo; Garcia jockeyed for the black vote. The candidates tailored their messages to the black voting bloc on schools and public safety. Emanuel even made an appearance on Nation of Islam-affiliated Munir Muhammad&rsquo;s show on public access television. Garcia had Jesse Jackson Sr. in his camp. Emanuel had Cong. Bobby Rush.</p><div id="responsive-embed-runoff">&nbsp;</div><script src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/wbez-dailygraphics/dailygraphics/graphics/runoff/js/lib/pym.js" type="text/javascript"></script><script type="text/javascript"> jQuery(document).ready(function(){ var pymParent = new pym.Parent( 'responsive-embed-runoff', 'http://s3.amazonaws.com/wbez-dailygraphics/dailygraphics/graphics/runoff/child.html', {} ); }); </script><p>Emanuel emerged the victor. But what will black voters do with their clout? Political analyst Laura Washington said it can&rsquo;t be business as usual. Black voters need to flex their power.</p><p>&ldquo;They have to organize and they have to make demands. First of all, we have to come up with an agenda. It doesn&rsquo;t have to be a unified, universal agenda. But some smart, savvy political organizers, elected and otherwise, need to come up with a to-do list for Rahm Emanuel,&rdquo; Washington said.</p><p><strong>The need for an &lsquo;ask&rsquo;</strong></p><p>The reelected incumbent has pledged to be a better listener. But currently, there&rsquo;s no black policy agenda. There&rsquo;s no formal ask -- at least not publicly.<br /><br />Emanuel angered black voters with school closings and what some say was lack of attention to their communities. Garcia, the darling of grassroots activists, spoke of inclusiveness but didn&rsquo;t outline a specific black agenda.</p><p>Voters like Lindsey Sorrell expressed frustration with economic inequality in the city.</p><p>&ldquo;When you go down that stretch, the far South Side, it&rsquo;s like a barren wasteland. There&rsquo;s no type of economic wealth at all. They have a chamber of commerce. But for what?&rdquo; Sorrell said.</p><p>The last time the black vote mattered as much in a Chicago mayoral race goes back three decades to the days of Harold Washington. Back then the voter turnout in his 1983 and 1987 elections reached up to 80 percent across the city. Blacks and independent white voters helped put him in office. Former Mayor Richard M. Daley never needed the black voting bloc; his coalition consisted of Hispanics, white ethnics and white lakefront voters. And subsequently, voter turnout plummeted to as low as 32 percent.</p><p>The April 7 runoff voter turnout hit close to 40 percent, up several points from the February race.</p><p>Northeastern Illinois University&rsquo;s Robert Starks said blacks also played a big role in Garcia&rsquo;s campaign.</p><p>&ldquo;Garcia campaign proved that there is the possibility of a strong independent black-brown progressive coalition&rdquo; Starks said.</p><p>But Starks takes the long view on the political cycle.</p><p>He says that means, &ldquo;Selecting a set of candidates that we can begin grooming, particularly young blacks and women. We have pretty much overlooked the potential of black women in this whole scheme.&rdquo;</p><p>Starks said the community can&rsquo;t wait until six months before the next election. Preparations need to begin now.</p><p><em><a href="http://www.wbez.org/users/nmoore-0" rel="author">Natalie Moore</a> is WBEZ&rsquo;s South Side Bureau reporter. <a href="mailto:nmoore@wbez.org">nmoore@wbez.org</a></em></p><p><em>Follow Natalie on <a href="https://plus.google.com//104033432051539426343" rel="me">Google+</a>, &nbsp;<a href="https://twitter.com/natalieymoore">Twitter</a></em></p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Wed, 08 Apr 2015 16:31:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/politics/black-vote-proves-key-chicago-mayoral-race-111844 Emanuel wins re-election over Garcia in race for Chicago mayor http://www.wbez.org/news/emanuel-wins-re-election-over-garcia-race-chicago-mayor-111840 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/rahm for hp.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Rahm Emanuel won re-election Tuesday as voters in Chicago&#39;s first mayoral runoff decided that, despite his brusque management style, the former White House chief of staff was best equipped to deal with the many dire challenges facing the nation&#39;s third-largest city.</p><blockquote><p><strong>Map: <a href="http://interactive.wbez.org/elections/2015/runoff-map/" target="_blank">2015 Runoff Election Results</a></strong></p></blockquote><p>Emanuel was forced to campaign furiously across the city to beat Cook County Commissioner Jesus &quot;Chuy&quot; Garcia after failing to capture a majority against four other candidates in a February election. The mayoral runoff was the first since the city changed the way it conducts elections about 20 years ago.</p><p>&quot;To all the voters I want to thank you for putting me through my paces,&quot; Emanuel told supporters Tuesday night. &quot;I will be a better mayor because of that. I will carry your voices, your concerns into ... the mayor&#39;s office.&quot;</p><p>With nearly all voting precincts reporting results, Emanuel had about 56 percent of the vote compared to around 44 percent for Garcia.</p><p>&quot;We didn&#39;t lose today, we tried,&quot; Garcia told supporters gathered at the University of Illinois at Chicago. &quot;We fought hard for what we believed in. You don&#39;t succeed at this or anything else unless you try.&quot;</p><p>The incumbent highlighted tough decisions he&#39;s made since succeeding former Mayor Richard M. Daley in 2011, but admitted that his management approach too often rubbed city residents the wrong way. He portrayed Garcia as too inexperienced to handle the city&#39;s financial crunch.</p><p>Many of those heading to the polls Tuesday said the election should be a signal.</p><p>&quot;Hopefully he (Emanuel) takes heed of the runoff when he should have been a shoo-in,&quot; said Richard Rowe, a 50-year-old, who planned to vote for the incumbent.</p><p>Jesus Fernandez, a 44-year-old window washer who voted for Garcia, had the same view.</p><p>&quot;If he (Garcia) gets close, we might push Rahm to do something,&quot; Fernandez said. &quot;At least we push him a little bit.&quot;</p><p>Emanuel raised far more money than Garcia, plastered the airwaves with ads and had support from his former boss, President Barack Obama, who cast an early ballot for him from Washington.</p><p>The mayor faces huge obstacles in his second term, from fixing the worst-funded pension systems of any big U.S. city to stemming stubborn violence and confronting labor unions that just spent millions trying to defeat him.</p><p>Chicago&#39;s four pension systems are about $20 billion in debt, and the fund for Chicago Public Schools teachers is short about $7 billion of what&#39;s needed to pay benefits as promised.</p><p>If Emanuel can&#39;t work a deal with labor unions or get the Illinois Legislature to approve relief, the city is on the hook for an additional $550 million payment to the retirement accounts, bringing the total payment to about $1 billion. He&#39;s said that would be roughly equal to the annual cost of having 4,300 police officers on the street or raising property taxes by 150 percent.</p><p>Emanuel also must deal with ongoing concerns about crime, one of the areas Garcia hit him on repeatedly during the election. After a spike in homicides early in his first term, the number fell to the lowest level in a half-century though the number of shootings has climbed 12 percent.</p><p>&quot;I&#39;m proud of what we&#39;ve accomplished in these past four years, but I understand the challenges we face will require me to approach them differently and to work in a different fashion,&quot; Emanuel said. &quot;The only way to meet these challenges is to bridge the gaps between the things that divide us and start focusing on the things that unite us and bring us together.&quot;</p><p>Garcia, a former community organizer, alderman and state lawmaker, ran a campaign focused on the city&#39;s neighborhoods, with support from teachers and unions upset with Emanuel. He accused the mayor of being out of touch with voters and blamed him for the fiscal problems, while playing up the mayor&#39;s push to close about 50 schools and a gang violence problem that spiked during Emanuel&#39;s first term.</p><p>He also vowed to end Chicago&#39;s troubled red-light camera system, which some residents believe is discriminatory and focuses more on revenue than safety.</p><p>Election officials said more than 142,300 Chicago voters cast early ballots for the runoff, far outpacing early voting turnout in February and four years ago.</p></p> Tue, 07 Apr 2015 19:53:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/emanuel-wins-re-election-over-garcia-race-chicago-mayor-111840 The Road to Election Day http://www.wbez.org/news/politics/road-election-day-111832 <p><p>This is it: The conclusion of the historic mayoral runoff election in Chicago has arrived. WBEZ&rsquo;s political duo Lauren Chooljian and Tony Arnold have been following incumbent Mayor Rahm Emanuel and challenger Cook County Commissioner Jesus &ldquo;Chuy&rdquo; Garcia all around the city leading up to the April 7th election.<br /><br />On the last full day of campaigning, the candidates spent their time in the parts of the city where they&rsquo;re expected to do best. Emanuel ate breakfast in Lakeview and Garcia riled up supporters in Pilsen.</p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="450" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/199572170&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;visual=true" width="100%">&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;/iframe&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;/p&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;p&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;Listen to other snapshots of Emanuel and Garcia&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;rsquo;s days on the campaign path below.&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;/p&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;</iframe></p><p>Listen to other snapshots of Emanuel and Garcia&rsquo;s days on the campaign path below.</p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="450" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/playlists/96308850&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p><em>Lauren Chooljian and Tony Arnold are WBEZ political reporters. Follow them <a href="https://twitter.com/laurenchooljian">@laurenchooljian</a> and <a href="https://twitter.com/tonyjarnold">@tonyjarnold</a>.</em></p></p> Tue, 07 Apr 2015 09:16:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/politics/road-election-day-111832 In mayoral campaign's 11th hour, Emanuel meets with critics of police http://www.wbez.org/news/mayoral-campaigns-11th-hour-emanuel-meets-critics-police-111830 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/Knox THUMNAIL square.jpg" alt="" /><p><p dir="ltr">A social-justice coalition representing religious congregations and senior citizens is praising Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel for meeting with them about police accountability &mdash; and complaining that his words at the gathering fell far short of their demands.</p><p>Rev. Eddie Knox Jr., pastor of Pullman Presbyterian Church, says the activists had been trying since October to get a meeting with Emanuel but could not nail him down, even as the police conduct issue boiled over in the wake of an officer&rsquo;s fatal shooting in Ferguson, Missouri.</p><p>&ldquo;Congregations heard over and over again &mdash; in our neighborhood canvasses &mdash; that our communities were being terrorized by police,&rdquo; Knox said.</p><p dir="ltr">The Emanuel meeting took place in his City Hall office Saturday morning and lasted almost an hour &mdash; a distraction from the campaign trail during the last weekend before voters decide whether to reelect him Tuesday. The meeting included several of Emanuel&rsquo;s senior staff members but not police Supt. Garry McCarthy.</p><p dir="ltr">The coalition includes the Community Renewal Society, the Jane Addams Senior Caucus and the Chicago Religious Leadership Network on Latin America. The ages and religious bent of the activists distinguish them from the young adults and leftists who have led many Chicago street protests since the Ferguson shooting.</p><p dir="ltr">The demands span three topics: the police department&rsquo;s body-camera program, the department&rsquo;s &ldquo;stop-and-frisk&rdquo; tactics, and the city&rsquo;s police-oversight agencies.</p><p dir="ltr">On the body cameras, Rev. Sara Wohlleb of the Latin America network said the coalition wants &ldquo;discipline for officers who fail to turn on the camera during any interaction with the public&rdquo; and discipline for the supervisors of those officers.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;We also need the assurance that the recording will never be erased by the police department or any authority,&rdquo; Wohlleb said. &ldquo;We are asking for disclosure of videos and, in the case of flagged recordings where there&rsquo;s a particular concern, we need that recording to be released to the public. We are also asking for public participation in the evaluation of the program.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">On the stop-and-frisk tactics, the coalition is demanding that data on the stops be collected and made public, that training for officers about legal requirements be improved, and that the people who are stopped get detailed receipts.</p><p dir="ltr">On police oversight, the coalition is calling for a &ldquo;complete&rdquo; overhaul of the Independent Police Review Authority, a city agency <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/who-polices-police-chicago-its-increasingly-ex-cops-111194" target="_blank">now led by former law-enforcement personnel</a>, the activists noted. They also called for an independent police auditor or an &ldquo;elected civilian accountability council.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">The coalition criticized the police department&rsquo;s <a href="http://www.wbez.org/tags/glenn-evans" target="_blank">handling of indicted Cmdr. Glenn Evans</a> and demanded that the police chief no longer be able to &ldquo;alter, adjust, veto or fight&rdquo; steps recommended by IPRA or the police department&rsquo;s Internal Affairs Division.</p><p dir="ltr">A statement from Mayor Emanuel&rsquo;s office calls the meeting &ldquo;positive and productive&rdquo; and says the city is already implementing some of the proposals, including discipline for officers who do not use their body cameras. The statement also says state law and the city&rsquo;s contract with the police union would block some of the proposals. The mayor&rsquo;s office agreed to another meeting with the coalition by early next month.</p><p>Speakers at the press conference included three of the most prominent supporters of Emanuel&rsquo;s mayoral challenger, Cook County Commissioner Jesús Chuy García. Those three were Rev. Jesse Jackson, U.S. Rep. Danny Davis and Cook County Commissioner Robert Steele. Their role led to questions about whether the coalition was trying to hurt Emanuel in Tuesday&rsquo;s election.</p><p>Nora Gaines of the Jane Addams Senior Caucus responded. &ldquo;People have been asking to meet with the mayor for months and months,&rdquo; she said. &ldquo;The mayor chose to meet with us this Saturday morning before the election. You would have to ask him why he did that.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">Asked about the meeting&rsquo;s timing, a spokesman for the mayor did not answer.</p><p dir="ltr">The coalition said it had met with García and that he had promised, if elected mayor, to approach police accountability with more &ldquo;sensitivity.&rdquo; But the issue has taken a backseat in García&rsquo;s mayoral campaign. Instead the challenger has pledged to hire 1,000 new police officers &mdash; something he says Emanuel promised four years ago.</p><p><em><a href="http://www.wbez.org/users/cmitchell-0">Chip Mitchell</a>&nbsp;is WBEZ&rsquo;s West Side bureau reporter. Follow him on Twitter&nbsp;<a href="https://twitter.com/ChipMitchell1">@ChipMitchell1</a>&nbsp;and&nbsp;<a href="https://twitter.com/WBEZoutloud">@WBEZoutloud</a>, and connect with him through&nbsp;<a href="https://www.facebook.com/chipmitchell1">Facebook</a>,&nbsp;<a href="https://plus.google.com/111079509307132701769" rel="me">Google+</a>&nbsp;and&nbsp;<a href="http://www.linkedin.com/in/ChipMitchell1">LinkedIn</a>.</em></p></p> Mon, 06 Apr 2015 18:14:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/mayoral-campaigns-11th-hour-emanuel-meets-critics-police-111830 Emanuel backed by tech's most powerful players http://www.wbez.org/news/emanuel-backed-techs-most-powerful-players-111814 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/rahm-google-AP-Photo-Charles-Dharapak-01282009_0.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Mayor Rahm Emanuel is scheduled to make a stop Thursday with one of his coziest constituencies: Chicago&rsquo;s tech community.</p><p>It turns out, the warm, fuzzy feeling between the two is mutual.</p><p>One of Emanuel&rsquo;s major successes as mayor has been his courting of tech companies. During his reelection campaign, Emanuel has touted the jobs he&rsquo;s brought to the city, especially from tech companies.</p><p><a href="http://www.chicagobusiness.com/article/20140815/BLOGS11/140819897/chicagos-tech-job-growth-near-the-top-of-u-s-cities">Chicago added nearly 12,000 tech jobs from 2011 to 2013 according to a report from CBRE Inc</a>.</p><p>With Google in the West Loop and Motorola Mobility in Merchandise Mart alongside local startups like Braintree, Chicago has been boosted by the tech community.</p><p>And so has Mayor Emanuel.</p><p>A scroll through donor lists to Mayor Emanuel&rsquo;s campaign reads like the Fortune 500 list for tech. It includes not just the most well-known names in Chicago&rsquo;s tech community, but also the heads of Apple, Google and Microsoft, all donating since Emanuel began his first run for mayor in 2010.</p><ul><li>Eric Schmidt, Executive Chairman of Google; donated $55,300 last year, including $50,000 in December</li><li>Steve Ballmer, retired CEO of Microsoft and owner of the Los Angeles Clippers; donated $15,300 since 2013, including $10,000 in January</li><li>Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook; donated $35,700</li><li>The late Steve Jobs, former CEO of Apple; donated $50,000 in 2010, while his wife Laurene Powell Jobs has contributed $55,300.</li><li>Elon Musk, head of Tesla and SpaceX; has contributed $55,300 since 2013</li></ul><p>Julie Samuels, executive director of tech lobby group Engine, said that for a long time the tech industry didn&rsquo;t want to engage in politics, but has become more comfortable interacting with candidates.</p><p>&ldquo;I think you&rsquo;re seeing them get involved because the industry is maturing,&rdquo; Samuels said.</p><blockquote><p><strong>Search Chicago poltical donations with our <a href="http://interactive.wbez.org/campaigncash/">Campaign Finance Tracker</a></strong></p></blockquote><p>What&rsquo;s unusual in Emanuel&rsquo;s case is that most heads of global tech companies don&rsquo;t involve themselves with local elections.</p><p>According to <a href="http://www.followthemoney.org/entity-details?eid=785381&amp;default=contributor">FollowTheMoney.org, Schmidt has contributed $888,055 to 53 different campaigns</a>, but Emanuel is the only mayoral candidate on that list. The same is true for Ballmer and Musk.</p><p>Facebook&rsquo;s Sandberg has backed two other mayoral candidates; Adrian Fenty in Washington, D.C., and Christine Quinn in New York. Both lost in primaries.</p><p>Chicago&rsquo;s tech community has been <a href="http://www.chicagobusiness.com/article/20150331/BLOGS11/150339968/chicago-techies-rally-round-emanuel">very vocal</a> in its support for Emanuel, especially since the Feb. 24 election when challenger Jesus &ldquo;Chuy&rdquo; Garcia pushed the mayor into a runoff.</p><p>The tech sector&rsquo;s share of Emanuel&rsquo;s overall war chest is relatively small. Emanuel has raised more than $40 million for associated campaign committees since he started running for mayor in 2010.</p><p>Emanuel has raised a little more than $1 million from the tech world, according to an analysis of data from the Illinois State Board of Elections.</p><p>The Center for Responsive Politics tracks the tech community&rsquo;s donations at the federal level. According to research director Sarah Bryner, $1 million for a single candidate is exceptional.</p><p>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s a lot of money,&rdquo; said Bryner of the Washington-based campaign finance watchdog group. &ldquo;Just as point of comparison, the top candidate receiving money from this industry in our books was Corey Booker, who took in $405,000 for a Senate race.&rdquo;</p><p>Bryner says Silicon Valley&rsquo;s political involvement in Chicago is a natural evolution from its growing political savvy at the federal level. That&rsquo;s especially true of companies like Google and since President Barack Obama has come on the scene. Much of that involvement has also come from Obama&rsquo;s efforts to cultivate relationships with the tech community.</p><p>Engine&rsquo;s Julie Samuels says Mayor Emanuel has now also tapped into those relationships with Silicon Valley, which go back to his time in the Clinton administration.</p><p>&ldquo;I don&rsquo;t think you&rsquo;ll see people getting involved in the race over a random alderman or some other local position,&rdquo; she said. &ldquo;That&rsquo;s something specific to this particular mayor, this particular moment.&rdquo;</p><p>Still, Samuels expects to see more tech companies getting involved in state and local politics because many issues, especially those involving sharing economy companies like Uber and AirBnB, are first hashed out in cities and states. (WBEZ&rsquo;s research shows that neither Uber nor AirBnB executives or the companies themselves donated to Emanuel or Garcia&rsquo;s campaigns.)</p><p>&ldquo;So much regulation that affects these companies happens at the local level,&rdquo; Samuels said. &ldquo;These companies &mdash; even when they&rsquo;re not based in Chicago &mdash; they play a huge role in our lives.&rdquo;</p><p>While national figures have more name recognition, some of the largest dollar figures have come from Chicago tech companies.</p><p>Groupon CEO Eric Lefkofsky gave more than $400,000 to Emanuel&rsquo;s campaign. A Groupon spokesman said Lefkofsky was traveling and was unable to comment.</p><p>Venture capitalist J.B. Pritzker donated $167,000, while Morningstar CEO Joe Mansueto added $160,000.</p><p>1871 CEO Howard Tullman, who has donated $5,300, dismissed notions that campaign contributions to Emanuel meant more access.</p><p>&ldquo;I don&rsquo;t think people who contribute to him think they are buying much of anything,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;He is independent and objective and tells it like it is.&rdquo;</p><p>Tullman has known Emanuel for decades. He says he supports Emanuel because he feels the mayor understands and advocates for the tech industry. He points to job growth within the Merchandise Mart &mdash; especially Motorola Mobility &mdash; as proof.</p><p>&ldquo;Motorola had a chance to go to Sunnyvale [California] or Chicago. That was a lot of lobbying by Rahm and other city leaders to retain them and that&rsquo;s thousands of jobs. Ultimately he&rsquo;s been really good for that,&rdquo; Tullman said.</p><p>With those gains, leaders in Chicago&rsquo;s tech industry want to avoid any possibility of breaking that momentum</p><p>&ldquo;I would really hate to take three steps back and say why don&rsquo;t we give somebody a trial or learn on the job and learn how to do this?&rdquo; Tullman said.</p><p><a href="https://twitter.com/chrishagan"><em>Chris Hagan</em></a><em> is a WBEZ web producer. </em><a href="https://twitter.com/nialaboodhoo"><em>Niala Boodhoo</em></a><em> is host of WBEZ&rsquo;s Afternoon Shift.</em></p></p> Thu, 02 Apr 2015 15:02:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/emanuel-backed-techs-most-powerful-players-111814 Defeated at the polls 17 years ago, Chuy's real test was about to begin http://www.wbez.org/news/defeated-polls-17-years-ago-chuys-real-test-was-about-begin-111812 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/Garcia 2 RECTANGLE.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><em>Editor&rsquo;s Note: A broadcast version of this story juxtaposed Jesus &ldquo;Chuy&rdquo; Garcia&rsquo;s 1998 decision to move to a nonprofit job with Rahm Emanuel&rsquo;s move around that time into banking. The comparison lacked context. The text on this page does not include that passage but we have <a href="https://www.scribd.com/doc/260718064/Defeated-at-the-polls-17-years-ago-Chuy-s-test-was-about-to-begin" target="_blank">posted the transcript</a> of the broadcast version.</em></p><p>In the closing stretch of Chicago&rsquo;s mayoral race, parts of Jesus &ldquo;Chuy&rdquo; Garcia&rsquo;s past are under scrutiny. This week Mayor Rahm Emanuel accused his challenger of running up a deficit at a nonprofit group he once led in the city&rsquo;s Little Village neighborhood.</p><p>But there&rsquo;s a chapter of Garcia&rsquo;s career that tested something more fundamental &mdash; whether he&rsquo;s the neighborhood guy he makes himself out to be. Garcia&nbsp;told WBEZ about it between campaign events a few days ago.</p><p>The year was 1998, when Garcia&nbsp;was a two-term Illinois state senator in the 1st District, which spanned Little Village and parts of neighborhoods nearby.</p><p>Garcia&nbsp;was undefeated at the ballot box. In almost a dozen contests &mdash; for the senate seat, for the 22nd Ward committeeman post and for the ward&rsquo;s City Council seat &mdash; no one had beaten him.</p><p>He assumed he would add another win to his record in the year&rsquo;s Democratic primary as he sought reelection to the senate. He faced Antonio Muñoz, a little-known Chicago cop who did not have much political experience and did not speak much Spanish.</p><p>Garcia&nbsp;eventually discovered what Muñoz did have: &ldquo;A massive army on the street.&rdquo; This army, the Hispanic Democratic Organization, was part of Mayor Richard M. Daley&rsquo;s political operation.</p><p>Some of the troops went door-to-door. &ldquo;They would say, &lsquo;Hey, is anybody here unemployed? Does anybody here need a job?&rsquo; &rdquo; Garcia&nbsp;recalled. &ldquo;And if there was someone unemployed, they would say, &lsquo;OK, we&rsquo;re hiring you starting today. And then, once the campaign is over, we&rsquo;re going to get you a city job.&rsquo; &rdquo;<br /><br />On Election Day, HDO&rsquo;s show of force was overwhelming. &ldquo;There were tons of city workers, outnumbering us 40-to-1 at a polling place,&rdquo; recalled Sonia Silva, then a state representative aligned with Garcia. &ldquo;They wore city of Chicago gear and drove cars paid for by the city taxpayers.&rdquo;<br /><br />Muñoz won with almost 54 percent of the vote.<br /><br />&ldquo;There was a real shock,&rdquo; Garcia&nbsp;said. &ldquo;We were all at a loss to understand how it could be lost.&rdquo;<br /><br />After the election, Garcia&rsquo;s neighborhood critics claimed he had it coming.<br /><br />&ldquo;He thought that he couldn&rsquo;t lose because [he] thought that you had to speak Spanish to represent the Latino community,&rdquo; recalled August Sallas, a former typographical union leader who ran against Garcia in earlier elections. &ldquo;That, in my opinion, is arrogant.&rdquo;<br /><br />Sallas was not the only one blaming Garcia.<br /><br />Howard Ehrman, a physician who helped form the Little Village Environmental Justice Organization, pointed to Garcia&rsquo;s tenure as 22nd Ward alderman beginning in 1986. Ehrman said Garcia ran the ward&rsquo;s independent political organization top-down, which drove some supporters away, leaving Garcia more and more vulnerable.<br /><br />By the time Garcia faced Muñoz in 1998, Ehrman said, &ldquo;the organization probably had a fourth of the members going door to door for Chuy as compared to the first time he got elected.&rdquo;<br /><br />Garcia said his own people were pointing fingers too. &ldquo;Whose fault was it? Who in the campaign went to sleep?&rdquo; Garcia recalled the conversations. &ldquo;Somebody should be held responsible for it. Somebody should catch the blame.&rdquo;<br /><br />Garcia took the defeat personally. &ldquo;I took it as a rejection,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;I said, &lsquo;How could people reject someone who had worked to be a full-time legislator, not have any other employment that I was pursuing, working for a pretty modest salary, who speaks at community gatherings?&rsquo; &rdquo;<br /><br />After the election loss, Garcia still had more than nine months in his Senate term. But Marcelo Gaete, his longtime chief of staff, decided it was time to pull up stakes.<br /><br />&ldquo;I&rsquo;m not going to be there for the rest of your term,&rdquo; Gaete recalled telling Garcia. &ldquo;I&rsquo;m going to just start fresh and go to Los Angeles. And he was supportive. But there was a part of me that felt guilt.&rdquo;<br /><br />Garcia&rsquo;s whole world was upside down. He could hardly make sense of it. &ldquo;I went through a lot of funk,&rdquo; he said.</p><p>And then something helped Garcia put everything into perspective.<br /><br />Garcia had gone one afternoon to his parents&rsquo; place for lunch. His father told him he kept getting asked a question in the neighborhood: &ldquo;Why did Chuy lose? Why did your son lose?&rdquo;<br /><br />And Garcia&rsquo;s father answered, &ldquo;He lost because he had to lose eventually.&rdquo;<br /><br />&ldquo;When he told me that,&rdquo; Garcia recalled, &ldquo;I thought, that&rsquo;s just so simple, but it also came to be a practical way of looking at myself &mdash; to not take myself so seriously.&rdquo;<br /><br />&ldquo;Sometimes circumstances and the environment play a role in your life,&rdquo; Garcia said. &ldquo;It doesn&rsquo;t define you as a person forever. And the most important thing to do is to accept it and move on. And if you&rsquo;ve got something good, still, to contribute, you&rsquo;re going to be able to do that.&rdquo;<br /><br />After that talk with his father, Garcia said he started thinking less about the defeat and more about what he could still contribute. And, as he served out the rest of his Senate term, he started getting job offers.<br /><br />He said a lot of offers would have made him a lobbyist and he would have earned &ldquo;a lot of money quickly.&rdquo;<br /><br />&ldquo;And some banks wanted to hire me to do outreach, to do public relations, to use my name,&rdquo; Garcia said. &ldquo;And I spoke to some people about it. I wanted to hear them out [and learn] how you begin being a lobbyist and what you have to do to keep the job.&rdquo;<br /><br />Garcia decided it was not for him.<br /><br />He was talking, meanwhile, with people at the Little Village Community Development Corp., a fledgling nonprofit that later changed its name to Enlace Chicago after the Spanish word for &ldquo;link.&rdquo;<br /><br />&ldquo;They came to me and they started pitching to me: &lsquo;Hey, this organization has a lot of potential. You could be the founding executive director. It&rsquo;s going to do all kinds of projects in the neighborhood,&rsquo; &rdquo; Garcia recalled.<br /><br />He took the job. Over the next decade, with Garcia at the helm, Enlace took on gang violence, helped folks learn English and get their GEDs, and helped win the neighborhood a new high school and new parks.</p><p>Enlace has come up in the mayor&rsquo;s race. Debating Garcia on Tuesday night, Mayor Rahm Emanuel referred to the group. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s a great organization and it does good work,&rdquo; he said.<br /><br />But the mayor quickly added that Garcia &ldquo;left it in deficit.&rdquo; Emanuel pointed to red ink in 2009, the year Garcia stepped down as executive director. The mayor said that deficit raises doubts about his challenger&rsquo;s ability to manage the city budget &mdash; a much larger responsibility.</p><p>Garcia responded that Enlace&rsquo;s deficit was short-lived and that it stemmed from the recession, a time when many nonprofits were hurting.<br /><br />The debate didn&rsquo;t settle much about Garcia&rsquo;s financial acumen.</p><p>And Garcia says it&rsquo;s not the only issue on which to judge him. In the WBEZ interview, he pointed to the way he responded to losing his State Senate back in 1998.</p><p>&ldquo;The fact that I didn&rsquo;t go corporate,&rdquo; Garcia said, &ldquo;tells you that my interest in figuring out how to make neighborhoods more livable, more relevant &mdash; how you develop leadership in neighborhoods to be able to do that &mdash; has remained a passion of mine.&rdquo;</p><p>A question for Chicago voters next Tuesday is whether a neighborhood guy like Garcia is fit to lead the whole city.</p><p><em><a href="http://www.wbez.org/users/cmitchell-0">Chip Mitchell</a> is WBEZ&rsquo;s West Side bureau reporter. Follow him on Twitter <a href="https://twitter.com/ChipMitchell1">@ChipMitchell1</a> and <a href="https://twitter.com/WBEZoutloud">@WBEZoutloud</a>, and connect with him through <a href="https://www.facebook.com/chipmitchell1">Facebook</a>, <a href="https://plus.google.com/111079509307132701769" rel="me">Google+</a> and <a href="http://www.linkedin.com/in/ChipMitchell1">LinkedIn</a>.</em></p></p> Thu, 02 Apr 2015 12:53:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/defeated-polls-17-years-ago-chuys-real-test-was-about-begin-111812 More than 21K early votes cast in Chicago runoff election http://www.wbez.org/news/more-21k-early-votes-cast-chicago-runoff-election-111766 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/earlyvoting_0.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>More than 21,000 people have taken advantage of early voting in Chicago over the first two days.</p><p>A spokesman with the Chicago Board of Election Commissioners says 7,914 early voting ballots were cast Monday, and nearly 13,100 were cast Tuesday. He says that data brings the board&#39;s unofficial two-day total to 21,012 votes.</p><p>The board says it&#39;s the largest number of ballots cast during the first two days of early voting for any municipal election in Chicago.</p><p>The first municipal election to offer early voting in February 2007 drew more than 1,440 votes in the first two days. Early voting for the February 2011 election saw over 8,550 votes in the first two days.</p><p>Almost 11,640 votes were cast in the first two days of early voting ahead of the February 2015 election.</p></p> Wed, 25 Mar 2015 08:16:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/more-21k-early-votes-cast-chicago-runoff-election-111766 Under Emanuel, more unsolved murders, fewer detectives http://www.wbez.org/news/under-emanuel-more-unsolved-murders-fewer-detectives-111750 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/rahmmccarthy_0.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>▲ <strong>Listen to the full story</strong></p><p>In his reelection campaign, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is taking credit for a <a href="http://interactive.wbez.org/gradingrahm/#public_safety">slight decline in the city&rsquo;s homicide rate</a>. But a WBEZ investigation raises a question about the murders that are still happening: Is the city doing enough to put the killers behind bars?</p><p>Emanuel has allowed detective ranks to decline during his term even as internal police records show some of the lowest murder clearance rates in decades. Our story (listen above) explores those rates through the eyes of city detectives and a mother who lost her 18-year-old daughter in an unsolved case last October.</p><p>A few notes about the data (charted below): Regarding the detectives, the number on the payroll is down by about 19 percent since Emanuel took office, according to records obtained by WBEZ under the state Freedom of Information Act. The ranks of evidence technicians and forensic investigators have thinned by even larger proportions.</p><p>Detectives say the drops owe to regular attrition such as retirements and promotions. A police spokesman says the city is planning to add 150 new detectives this year. But they won&rsquo;t make up for the attrition during the mayor&rsquo;s term.</p><p>About the murder clearances, the department calculates the rate two ways. The simple way accounts only for cases closed in the same calendar year in which the murder took place. By that gauge, the police cleared 28.7 percent of last year&rsquo;s murders. The other calculation &mdash; the one preferred by the city &mdash; includes clearances of murders committed in previous years, leading to a 2014 rate of 51.8 percent. By either measure, the city&rsquo;s clearance rate is near its lowest level in decades. Chicago&rsquo;s also doing poorly compared to other big cities, according to <a href="http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2013/crime-in-the-u.s.-2013/tables/table-25/table_25_percent_of-offenses_cleared_by_arrest_by_population_group_2013.xls">FBI clearance figures for 2013</a>, the most recent year available.</p><p>Zooming in further, the term &ldquo;cleared&rdquo; means <em>closed</em> but not necessarily <em>solved</em>. In some cleared cases, the killer was not charged or even arrested. During Emanuel&rsquo;s term, roughly a quarter of the murder cases the police have closed were &ldquo;exceptional clearances&rdquo; because, for example, the suspect had died or fled the country or because prosecutors had declined to bring charges for various reasons, including a refusal by witnesses to testify. Last year, 42 of 213 clearances were &ldquo;exceptional.&rdquo;</p><div id="responsive-embed-clearance-absolute">&nbsp;</div><script src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/wbez-dailygraphics/dailygraphics/graphics/clearance-absolute/js/lib/pym.js" type="text/javascript"></script><script type="text/javascript"> jQuery(document).ready(function(){ var pymParent = new pym.Parent( 'responsive-embed-clearance-absolute', 'http://s3.amazonaws.com/wbez-dailygraphics/dailygraphics/graphics/clearance-absolute/child.html', {} ); }); </script><div id="responsive-embed-clearance-rate">&nbsp;</div><script type="text/javascript"> jQuery(document).ready(function(){ var pymParent = new pym.Parent( 'responsive-embed-clearance-rate', 'http://s3.amazonaws.com/wbez-dailygraphics/dailygraphics/graphics/clearance-rate/child.html', {} ); }); </script><div id="responsive-embed-investigators-line">&nbsp;</div><script type="text/javascript"> jQuery(document).ready(function(){ var pymParent = new pym.Parent( 'responsive-embed-investigators-line', 'http://s3.amazonaws.com/wbez-dailygraphics/dailygraphics/graphics/investigators-line/child.html', {} ); }); </script><div id="responsive-embed-investigators-table">&nbsp;</div><script type="text/javascript"> jQuery(document).ready(function(){ var pymParent = new pym.Parent( 'responsive-embed-investigators-table', 'http://s3.amazonaws.com/wbez-dailygraphics/dailygraphics/graphics/investigators-table/child.html', {} ); }); </script></p> Mon, 23 Mar 2015 08:17:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/under-emanuel-more-unsolved-murders-fewer-detectives-111750 Chicago mayor's race reveals deep divide in democratic party http://www.wbez.org/news/chicago-mayors-race-reveals-deep-divide-democratic-party-111730 <p><p>One of the nation&#39;s savviest politicians is in an unexpected fight.</p><p>Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, President Obama&#39;s former White House chief of staff, is in an unprecedented runoff election next month.</p><p>The challenger, Cook County Commissioner Jesus &quot;Chuy&quot; Garcia, contends that Emanuel favors the rich and powerful over working-class Chicagoans. But Emanuel is firing back, attacking Garcia for having no plan to deal with the city&#39;s deep financial problems.</p><p>Emanuel is the first incumbent Chicago mayor to be forced into a primary runoff &mdash; and it&#39;s a race that&#39;s signaling a deeper, growing divide between liberal and more moderate Democrats.</p><p>Several national progressive groups, including Democracy for America, MoveOn.org and the American Federation of Teachers, have banded together to take the fight to Emanuel in what they see as a fight between the &quot;Elizabeth Warren Wing&quot; and the &quot;Wall Street Wing&quot; of the Democratic Party.</p><blockquote><p><strong><a href="http://www.npr.org/2015/03/18/393870531/chicago-race-exposes-progressive-wall-street-wings-of-democratic-party">Chicago Race Exposes Progressive, Wall Street Wings Of Democratic Party</a></strong></p></blockquote><p><span style="font-size:22px;">Taking It To The Streets</span></p><p>Garcia walked through the Englewood neighborhood on the city&#39;s South Side with a natural ease that comes from three decades in Chicago politics, shaking hands with residents, talking with them about their jobs, families, and schools. And, of course, asking for their support.</p><p>For many residents of this mostly African-American community, the attention is welcome.</p><p>&quot;I&#39;m a neighborhood guy,&quot; he told residents.</p><p>That is the key distinction Garcia is trying to make in his campaign to unseat Emanuel, the first-term mayor: that he is of the neighborhoods and for the neighborhoods, while Emanuel&#39;s policies benefit the wealthy downtown.</p><p>&quot;Chicago neighborhoods are hurting,&quot; he said. &quot;They haven&#39;t seen much recovery since the recession, and that will be the paradigm shift under my administration.&quot;</p><p>Garcia walked door to door on this block during recent campaigning, in particular because it&#39;s home of one of the 50 schools Emanuel&#39;s administration closed two years ago.</p><p>Carrissa Johnson, 38, who works in the Social Security Administration, says her son now has to walk a longer, more dangerous route to school. And she&#39;s also upset about the lack of investment in Englewood and neighborhoods like it under Emanuel.</p><p><img alt="" beaty="" chicago.="" class="image-original_image" day="" during="" garcia="" in="" parade="" paul="" s="" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/chuy-npr.jpg" st.="" style="height: 210px; width: 280px; float: right;" the="" title="Samantha Hernandez, 17, poses for a selfie with Chicago mayoral candidate Jesus " />&quot;I don&#39;t think that he really cares about the inner community,&quot; she said. &quot;I think everything goes more so up north than comes here.&quot;</p><p>Johnson admitted she &quot;really doesn&#39;t know too much about&quot; Garcia, but she added, &quot;I don&#39;t think that it can get any worse, because Emanuel is not really doing his job, so I think that a change is very much needed.&quot;</p><p><span style="font-size:22px;">Money Talks</span></p><p>Progressives have highlighted the millions of dollars Emanuel has spent to underscore the perception that he favors the well-heeled and well-connected.</p><p>Campaign finance reports show Emanuel has raked in about eight times as much as Garcia has. Emanuel has raised close to $20 million, including a recent $1.4 million haul from just eight wealthy donors, as of Wednesday.</p><p>Garcia, meanwhile, has raised $2.6 million, much of it from the Chicago Teachers Union, other unions, and progressive groups such as Democracy for America.</p><p>Looking to boost those figures, Garcia has a trip scheduled Thursday to Los Angeles to raise money from Latino business and community leaders.</p><p><span style="font-size:22px;">&#39;A Total Disconnect&#39;</span></p><p>Helping lead Garcia around this neighborhood that has almost as many vacant lots and boarded-up buildings as there are occupied homes and businesses was Bishop James Dukes, pastor of nearby Liberation Christian Center. Dukes said he endorsed and worked for Emanuel&#39;s campaign four years ago.</p><p>&quot;It&#39;s a total disconnect,&quot; he said of Emanuel now. &quot;At no point does the administration seek the advice and help of those who are in the community until voting time &mdash; until they need us. ... In the meantime, all the decisions are made in a silo.&quot;</p><p>The message that Emanuel seems disengaged from the city&#39;s poorer neighborhoods, that he&#39;s arrogant and even abrasive, appears to be getting through to the mayor. He opened a recent&nbsp;<a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hjqQWB3WtCo">campaign ad</a>&nbsp;this way:</p><p>&quot;They say your greatest strength is also your greatest weakness. I&#39;m living proof of that. I can rub people the wrong way, or talk when I should listen. I own that.&quot;</p><p>It&#39;s the first ad Emanuel started airing after failing to get more than 50 percent in February&#39;s election, forcing him into this runoff.</p><p>Emanuel told voters he&#39;s driven to make a difference. That can require tough, even unpopular choices.</p><p>&quot;Look, I&#39;m not going to always get it right,&quot; he said. &quot;But when it comes to fighting for Chicago and Chicago&#39;s future, no one&#39;s going to fight harder.&quot;</p><p><span style="font-size:22px;">Trying To Rally Unions</span></p><p>Emanuel has clashed with many of the city&#39;s unions, most notably Chicago&#39;s teachers, who enlisted Garcia to challenge Emanuel.</p><p>The Service Employees International Union, or SEIU, which played a critical role on the ground during President Obama&#39;s two presidential campaigns, endorsed Garcia, too.</p><p>Many in labor worry about Emanuel&#39;s close relationship with Illinois&#39; Republican billionaire Gov. Bruce Rauner, who often criticizes unions.</p><p>Emanuel met this week with several African-American labor leaders to try to allay their concerns. When one leader said, &quot;We cannot let Illinois become a right-to-work state,&quot; Emanuel quickly agreed, adding, &quot;I think right-to-work takes the rug from underneath the middle class.&quot;</p><p>On that and other issues, many of the labor leaders said they came away satisfied.</p><p>&quot;We&#39;re looking for opportunities for people of color that look like us and a pathway to careers,&quot; said Will Irving, who is with Laborers Local 1001, &quot;and I think we&#39;ve accomplished a steppingstone out of this meeting.&quot;</p><p>When it comes to Emanuel, Irving added, &quot;There are opinions that people have; there are facts about what the mayor has done. The mayor has done a lot of good things with the schools.&quot;</p><p>Irving also cited Emanuel&#39;s efforts in helping develop pathways to careers in the trades, among others, and said the mayor is more inclusive than he gets credit for.</p><p>&quot;We have had a seat at the table,&quot; Irving said.</p><p>Laborers Local 1001 President Nicole Hayes echoed that.</p><p>&quot;I think he has done a great job,&quot; she said, adding, &quot;Under his leadership, the last four years, we&#39;ve acquired almost 400 new positions with him. So we&#39;re endorsing him.&quot;</p><p>Earl Jackson of Plumbers Local 130 said his group is throwing its support to Emanuel.</p><p>&quot;He&#39;s doing a good job,&quot; Jackson said.</p><p><span style="font-size:22px;">Emanuel Comes Out Fighting</span></p><p>Never the political equivalent of a shrinking violet, at a debate Monday night, Emanuel hammered Garcia for failing to detail how he would fix city finances.</p><p>&quot;Let me be clear here, there&#39;s a real difference,&quot; he said. &quot;Chuy, you laid out a commission, not a plan.&quot;</p><p>Garcia didn&#39;t back down.</p><p>&quot;This mayor has provided corporate welfare to his cronies, millionaires and billionaires in Illinois,&quot; he hit back, &quot;and he promised four years ago to put Chicago&#39;s fiscal house in order, [but] we&#39;re in a financial free fall.&quot;</p><p>With less than three weeks to go until the April 7 runoff, Emanuel has a sizable lead in the latest polls.</p><p>Progressive groups concede defeating Emanuel is an uphill climb, but they are already satisfied with forcing him into a runoff. And they are confident their message is resonating beyond Chicago.</p><p><em>NPR Political Editor Domenico Montanaro contributed to this report.</em></p><p><em>&mdash; via <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/itsallpolitics/2015/03/18/393839466/chicago-mayors-race-puts-democratic-divide-in-spotlight">NPR&#39;s It&#39;s All Politics</a></em></p></p> Thu, 19 Mar 2015 09:19:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/chicago-mayors-race-reveals-deep-divide-democratic-party-111730